Local historian and our newsletter editor Andrew Pattison presented a very informative overview of the industrial history of Coleham at the Barnabas Centre which was an excellent introduction to our tour of Coleham Pumping Station. The gentlemen volunteers at the Pumping Station demonstrated their enthusiasm and expert knowledge in guiding us round the building and describing the impressive machinery which was surprisingly immaculate. Electric motors in lieu of steam enabled us to see some action which added to the sense of wonder at the ingenuity of the design. An excellent afternoon enjoyed by 30 people.
Author Archives: buildingbeginnings
We enjoyed a delightful and informative afternoon at Shrewsbury Cathedral discovering how the Roman Catholic faith was persecuted and later emancipated in both a national and county perspective. Helen Haynes provided an overview of the key developments and the records that are available at Shropshire Archives. Father Phillips described the history of the building and how it has developed since it was built in 1856, and led us on a tour of the cathedral.
We were delighted to welcome Dr Kate Croft from the University of Birmingham to deliver our annual lecture: ‘Healthy and Expedient’: Childcare and Charity at the Shrewsbury Foundling Hospital 1759-1772
The Foundling Hospital in London is well-known as an example of eighteenth-century philanthropy and childcare. What is less well-known is the involvement of several branch hospitals that were set up in during the time known as ‘General Reception’. One of these branch hospitals was based in the Midlands, at Shrewsbury in Shropshire. Kate’s talk looked at the history of the Shrewsbury Foundling hospital, its relationship with Thomas Coram’s London hospital, and the lives of children who lived there.
Alumni officer and archivist Julie Brook led a splendid afternoon with a talk about the legacy of Thomas Harper Adams and a visit to the Bamford Library.
We learned that Thomas Harper Adams was a Shropshire farmer who died in 1892 leaving a substantial estate he had inherited from his godfather and brother. He left instructions in his will for the founding of a college ‘for the purpose of teaching practical and theoretical agriculture‘.
The college was built on farmland in 1901 with lecture rooms downstairs and dormitories upstairs and has thrived as an independent establishment ever since.
Tuesday, 12 June 2018
The Friends’ AGM this year was held in the former stables at the Flax Mill Maltings. Penny Ward gave a talk on the history of the Flax Mill and how it came to be sited in Shrewsbury, its connections with the Shropshire canal and the railway, its time as a maltings, and subsequent decline. Flax Mill administrator Richard Benjamin then described the extensive renovations currently in progress and declared that the mill building would open in the spring of 2021. We then had a guided tour of the site from Penny to conclude our visit.
Tuesday, 22 May 2018
A friendly welcome, a fascinating tour and wonderful tea were the highlights of our visit to Hardwick Hall, a grand Grade II* listed Georgian Hall of three floors and a cellar. The house was built by John Kynaston who had inherited the land in 1693 and finished the house before his death in 1733.
A morning of talks and demonstrations showing the remarkable and extensive work carried out by volunteers at Shropshire Archives. Volunteers make an enormous contribution to the Archives and their work in cataloguing, indexing, conserving and research is largely unseen by most researchers who benefit from their endeavours.
There were presentations about digitising photographs and locating them on a map, Reebrook College, Shropshire Family History Society’s help desk and the paintings of the Reverend Edward Williams. As well as a display of documents there were active demonstrations of conservation, reprographics and cataloguing, plus an opportunity to meet and talk to some of the volunteers.